Monday, October 19, 2009

And Even More Quebec and Edits

What I'm reading: 9 Dragons, by Michael Connelly

As I write this, I'm home again. A cold front had blown through and we returned home to glorious weather. Today, it's laundry, so while the machines do their things, I thought I'd recap more trip highlights.

Thursday, the weather was crisp and sunny enough to walk through the old city, although I felt the aftermath of the previous night's walk to and from the port. One of my goals was to visit the Choco Musée, which is a small display and shop outside of the old city, not too far from the hotel. The distances aren't great, but the changes in elevation are killer. I can't imagine navigating those sidewalks and stairs in icy conditions.

I did get to the museum and chocolate shop, and treated myself to a box of assorted confections. The box was almost too pretty to open -- almost.

These are the chocolates I picked out.

And if you have a few minutes, check out their website.

On my wanderings, I found a couple of Irish pubs, so we decided we'd go back down there for dinner. We ended up at St. Patrick's where the Guinness was on tap (although it was a fast pour), and the fish and chips were … well, they weren't the same as the ones I had in England. Of course, after walking down to the pub, we had to walk back up to the hotel.

Keep Reading...

As for the 'working' part of the day:

After turning in my revisions, and getting editorial comments, I mentioned that I had originally written a different sort of ending for the book, and since she was having trouble with the way the current ending was going, I said I'd send it to her. Luckily, I had an old, old draft on my laptop with that first ending.

I didn't want to spend TOO much of my 'vacation' time working on edits if she didn't like the concept, but I did give it a rough polish and figure out where it would fit into the existing manuscript. She liked the new version better, so we're back to editing again. Cutting, pasting, checking for continuity, weaving in transitions was a challenge. I'm used to working on my PC, and having a printer on hand so I can look at a hard copy to catch things like repeats, places where I hit 'copy' instead of 'cut', etc. But, I trudged through it, and sent it back to her.

She sent her comments and edits. This time, she not only said things like, "here she should look at him, searching for ... 'something' … and then "and here she finds whatever it was" but she also added bits of dialogue, touches of narrative. The issue then becomes deciding 1) if I agree with the premise; and 2) if the wording is not my voice (or the voice of my character), and how to adjust it so it is.

I'm fortunate to have an editor who's willing to discuss why she wants changes, and who will listen to my reasoning when I don't agree. We must have gone back and forth half a dozen times on the final paragraph of the manuscript, before we found the wording that evoked the right reactions in both of us. I don't like to think of our process as one of compromises, because that implies that we end up with something neither of us really likes.

Tomorrow, my guest is Sheila Deeth, who will be talking about alternative routes to publication.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Terry! I have no chocolate in my house right now and then came across your chocolate pictures. I'm *suffering!* Clearly I'll have to go to the store now...sigh!

Glad your trip was so much fun. And it sounds like the revisions have been going well, too. I'm waiting on feedback from my last round of revisions, so will have to see how that goes.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Terry Odell said...

The "sad" thing is: I used to work doing the membership and conference registrations for the group that met in Quebec this year. I retired a year ago, and about the only thing I miss about the job is that when people had problems with their memberships or registrations (almost always caused by a lack of reading on their part), I would fix it for them, and the 'fee' was that they had to bring me chocolate at the meeting. This year, since I was purely a spectator, I had to buy my own chocolate! I picked up some more in the duty-free shop on the way home -- had to get rid of some of that Canadian money, eh?

Sheila Deeth said...

I love the insights into you and your editor. Still dreaming one day I might step onto the "real" publication path. But I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

And chocolate... Sounds like a wonderful trip.